Audiobook Review: How I Slept My Way to the Middle

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How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen and, the Interwebs

Written by Kevin Pollak and Alan Goldsher; narrated by Kevin Pollak 

Ⓟ 2013, Brilliance Audio

8.10 hours

Kevin Pollak’s career as an entertainer – comic, impersonator, show host, and actor – is the subject matter for this memoir. Whatever his merits are, his performance as an audiobook narrator are underwhelming. The storytelling and impersonations in are ill-timed and mostly weak respectively. Perhaps Pollak’s talents are best appreciated live and onscreen.

In Neil Genzlinger’s piece in the New York Time’s Sunday Book Review, “The Problem with Memoirs” (January 28, 2011,) Genzlinger advises that  “If you’re jumping on a bandwagon, make sure you have better credentials than the people already on it.” The story of Kevin Pollak’s life story and that of Billy Crystal’s (Still Foolin’ ‘Em) are remarkably similar: A Jewish boy discovers that he can get attention by being funny, impersonates a famous black person, performs at a Bar Mitzvah in front of his family and friends and Boom! a star is born! Except, the trajectory of Pollak’s career obviously arced lower than Billy Crystal’s – demonstrating that it takes more than skill, talent and ambition; but also a certain kind of luck. Pollak’s narrative lacks the vitality and timing and might have benefitted from performing some of his material live; but what couldn’t be fixed is that, despite being the narrative of an individual’s life, the events that served as plot points weren’t particularly unique or better than those of his contemporaries. 

How I Slept My Way to the Middle is a reality-based book that, notwithstanding being a memoir of a comic, isn’t especially interesting, much less funny. Personally, I couldn’t hack more than a couple of hours before I DNF-ed this audiobook out of boredom.

From Kevin Pollak’s YouTube channel, Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show. Pollak is apparently famous for his Christopher Walken impersonation:

ARMCHAIR AUDIES RANKINGS*:

  1. The Stench of Honolulu (written and narrated by Jack Handey)
  2. How I Slept My Way to the Middle (written by Kevin Pollak and Alan Goldsher; narrated by Kevin Pollak)
  3. Someone Could Get Hurt (written and narrated by Drew Magary)

OTHER: I borrowed a CD edition of How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen and, the Interwebs
(Written by Kevin Pollak and Alan Goldsher; narrated by Kevin Pollak)
 from the Jackson County Library System in Oregon. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post.

* I am participating in the Armchair Audies 2014, judging the category of Humor.

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